You've heard of that study they did on videogame jump duration, where they measured how long it took to do a jump in a bunch of succesful games and decided that the best jumpfeel was .56 seconds or whatever? I can't find a link to that article now...if anybody can find it, let me know. (Side note: Spider-Man 2's jump was much longer than that and still the game was somehow succesful.)
I'd kind of like to do a similar study for the number of enemies in third person action adventures. I'll start with Prince of Persia.
With the help of this FAQ (the only one I saw that actually listed enemy numbers, thank you "The Lost Gamer") I counted the number of enemies in Prince of Persia, making guesses at composition...so these numbers aren't terribly accurate, but are probably accurate enough for my purposes:
Human guards: 10
Red sand fiends: 130
Sand Beetles: 20
Female sand fiends: 70
Blue fiends: 70
Sledgehammer fiends: 50
Chain fiends: 40
Sand creatures after you get the one-hit-kill sword: 40
That's a whole lot of killin'...take into account dying and reloading and you're probably killing around 600 critters.
Still, this one game doesn't really leave us with enough data to start drawing conclusions. And it's a dodgy idea anyway - some games the monsters are much easier to kill than others, so how do you compare their enemy counts? Apples and oranges.
Bad data is better than no data, I say. Mark Nau would say, "No. No it isn't."